It is hard to believe that it was almost ten years ago I witnessed a CNC router in action for the very first time. I was fascinated and simply had to have one! Although I had been in the creative end of the three dimensional sign business for most of my life I didn't really know what I would do with one of these machines - but I just knew it could do fantastic stuff.

Along with the CNC router I discovered the wonderful material called Precision Board and the glues, primers and other companion products they offer. Since then we have gone through many tons of the material using it in most signs and projects we tackle. This journal will chronicle our many adventures both past, present and future. I'll talk from the perspective of someone who pushes these products to the creative limit on a daily basis. I'll be adding to the stories two or three times each week. -dan

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fish in a bowl

In most of my 3D routing I use a technique to route the sides of the reliefs and leave an onion skin at the base. In this fashion the top edge is finished and any hand work is done at the bottom of the piece. If I am gluing two routed pieces back to back I leave an onion skin ridge intact on both pieces. This way the glue squishes out away from the edge making finishing much easier. It is cleaned up in seconds after the piece dries.

Below is a fish relief I created in EnRoute. It is a relatively simple relief...  the fish body is created using the dome tool. The fins were created separately as flat reliefs and then merged with the body. The eyes and fin were added to the relief.

Once I had merged all the pieces I used the offset tool to create two lines - one 0.6" and one 0.2" outside of that. The outside line was used to create a relief of 0.75" thick. Then I modify that relief with a value of negative 0.75".  Both reliefs are aligned to the bottom of the plate and then merged together. This forms a stepped 'bowl' with a fish inside. I've found that using this stepped shape breaks less bits.